Are N95 masks with valves less effective?


N95 masks are the most popular masks in this pandemic situation. Since the mask is declared as the most effective mask to prevent airborne particles from entering our body, people started buying this mask from wherever possible. However, to use the N95 mask properly for the benefit of your body and keeping away coronavirus you must know about the mask. N95 is not designed for people in this pandemic. It was designed for industrial purposes. Because of the high-level filtration capability, the mask is considered to be effective now when a deadly virus can infect us anytime by entering through our nose and mouth.

N95 masks have several variations and each of them has special purposes. Without knowing them if you wear a mask for a long time you may harm your body instead of protecting it. N95 masks are now majorly recommended for the medical professionals who are mostly exposed to the virus infection. When people started purchasing N95 masks in bulk the medical professionals were deprived of the product because of the shortage. However, the retailers and manufacturers collaborated and handled the situation well. Also, many kids fell sick because of wearing N95 masks. Later, the CDC declared that the mask is not for kids and there is no version of N95 masks designed for them. If anyone gets such a mask in the market, it has to be fake. Therefore, we thought to take you through the N95 masks a little deeper.


Here is some information you may not know about N95 masks:

N: It's a letter class of Respirator Rank. It is called "Non-oil" which means that you can use the mask in your work environment if there are no oil-dependent particles. Many masks are R which is 8 hours resistant to oil and P which is oil resistant.

95: 95-masks have an output of 95%. The 99-fold masks have an output of 99%. Masks that end in 100 are 99.97% effective, which is the same as a filter for HEPA efficiency.

.3 microns: the masks eliminate pollutants such as mud, smear, and smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC), the minimum size of 3 microns of particulate matter and large droplets do not cross the barrier.

Material: The filtration agent is a nonwoven polypropylene electrostatic fiber on the mask.

Valve: Some N95 masks are fitted with an optional valve exhalation. The presence of an exhalation valve decreases the resistance to exhalation which facilitates respiration, according to the CDC. There is a catch with the N95 masks with valves. The exhalation valves are designed for people who are claustrophobic to wear masks. However, this can be dangerous for other people. First of all, the wearer will have to inhale the air stuffed with carbon-di-oxide because the exhalation valve doesn’t work as fast as our nose without any cover, of course. Second, if the wearer has the virus in his or her body, there is a high chance for it to be released in the air through the valve. That can make the surrounding people vulnerable to the infection. This is why the United States has banned N95 masks with exhalation valves.

N95 respirators, including those that contain SARS-CoV-2, can block smaller respiratory droplets and fluids. The CDC does not promote its use concerning healthcare environments, however. There are many explanations, including:

To be used properly, N95 masks should well-fitted to the wearer. An improper seal may result in leakage and reduce the performance of the respirator.

The global supply of N95 respirators is low and health workers and first responders must have convenient access to these respirators.

It may become sweaty and stuffy also it may be difficult to wear for longer periods.

The CDC and NIOSH always recommend normal cotton masks for the common people. If they are not exposed to extreme contamination of body fluid and viruses, like the medical staff is, they don’t have to wear the N95 masks. The mask has three-layered filtration and this is what makes it so effective. Medical professionals who are already using so much safety equipment including face shields, gloves, masks, safety goggles, and many more are accustomed to the mask, but it can be uncomfortable for common people. Also, N95 masks are costlier. For the reuse, you have to follow a proper sanitization process whereas, for the cotton washable masks, you can use a rice cooker or instant pot to clean. The disposable masks are the best if you can dump it in the proper place. Other than cotton masks with layers and filters should be beneficial for regular use.


How to Buy Authentic Mask

If you are a medical professional or want N95 masks for a purpose, you must look into the market carefully. As we told before that there was a shortage of this product in the market and that was the time when fraudulent businesses started invading the market. People were bewildered then and they purchased anything that looked like N95 masks. Now, with the effective interference of CDC and NIOSH, people are more or less aware of the real N95 mask but it is often difficult to find without careful observation. Hence, if you are purchasing N95 masks or a filter of the same, make sure that you check all details including the manufacturer, the protective components, and seals carefully so that you don’t invite more problems to your family with a wrong PPE kit.

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